Does nanobiotechnology oversight present a uniquely complex challenge to interagency cooperation?

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Numerous regulatory and oversight challenges exist in the field of nanobiotechnology. Although these challenges may appear novel and complex, similar issues have plagued environmental regulation since the 1970 s. This article argues that complexity, uncertainty, and regulatory gaps are common problems in environmental regulation, and that the lessons learned and progress made during more than 40 years of environmental regulation can serve as a guidepost for addressing nanobiotechnology regulation and oversight issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1419-1425
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Preparation of this article was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant #0608791, ‘‘NIRT: Evaluating Oversight Models for Active Nanostructures and Nanosystems: Learning from Past Technologies in a Societal Context’’ (Principal Investigator: S. M. Wolf; Co-PIs: E. Kokkoli, J. Kuzma, J. Paradise, and G. Ramachandran). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.


  • Complexity
  • Environmental regulation
  • Governance
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Oversight
  • Uncertainty


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